Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind

“We are more in need of a vision or destination and a compass (a set of principles or directions) and less in need of a road map.” – Steven Covey

In his fantastic book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ Stephen Covey talks about the importance of starting a project/role or even your life with the end in mind as Habit #2

This habit is really all about knowing our purpose and what we want to achieve before we set off. If we start out knowing these things then it gives us clear direction towards where we want to be and how we will know when we have arrived.

Imagine getting into a car without a satnav or map and just trying to guess where you are going by starting out and seeing where you end up. This may take you on an adventure, a nightmare journey; you could just end up going around in circles or end up in a dead end! Without knowing where you are going – any road will take you there, but you could end up somewhere you really didn’t want to be.

How can you possibly know whether you’ve succeeded, failed, or reached somewhere in between if you don’t know what you’re aiming for? Knowing your end goal is like giving the end destination to the satnav of your mind and can give you the continued motivation you need to achieve success.

You could start by asking yourself the following questions:

·        What is the purpose of what I’m trying to achieve?

·        What outcomes do I want?

·        Why are these outcomes important?

·        Why am I about to do what I’m about to do?

·        How will I know when I get there?

You could apply these questions to your work, life and/or relationships.

Envision what you want in the future so that you can plan and work towards it. Create a compelling vision, develop values in alignment with your vision and set off with confidence towards achieving your goals.

So what is that you really want to create? Do you have a compelling vision around it? If not, why not? Start today by developing your ‘end in mind’ and set off in the right direction!

Lis Cashin